Asymptomatic Grotesque Deformities of the Cervical Spine: An Occupational Hazard in Railway Porters

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Abstract

Study Design.

A case report.

Objective.

To illustrate an extremely rare occurrence of chronic, occupational, low-grade trauma leading to asymptomatic grotesque cervical spine deformities in railroad station porters.

Summary of Background Data.

Occupational trauma causing spinal deformities has been described in relation to thoracic and lumbar spines in miners. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of asymptomatic cervical spinal deformity in railway porters as a result of chronic occupational trauma.

Methods.

A magnetic resonance imaging study was performed on both patients.

Results.

The magnetic resonance images showed advanced degenerative changes in the cervical spine causing obvious deformities, along with apparently normal cord signal intensity.

Conclusions.

Chronic, occupational, low-grade trauma of the cervical vertebral region is extremely unusual in industrialized countries. Nevertheless, in view of the increasing mobility of people in general and of the labor force in particular, this complication of an occupational exposure deserves attention as an unusual cause of cervical spinal deformity.

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